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Not everyone likes to eat sardines and not everyone will like what you create

Not everyone likes to eat sardines

My breakfast this morning, peas and sardines.


Whatever it takes to finish things, finish. You will learn more from a glorious failure than you ever will from something you never finished.
― Neil Gaiman

Yesterday I rearranged the furniture in the living room. I didn’t want to finish a project. I don’t want to learn anything from a glorious failure, I would rather leave it unfinished in the basement than risk failure.

Be brave and finish a project  tweet tweet

No one has a problem with the first mile of a journey. Even an infant could do fine for a while. But it isn’t the start that matters. It’s the finish line.
― Julien Smith, The Flinch

Finishing a project means that someone will see it. They might not like it. And it they don’t like what I create, that means that they don’t like me.

Wait a minute, Hodges! You know that is not true. You are not your writing, and you are not your painting. If someone doesn’t like what you create, it is not a reflection on who you are as a person.

But I want to create something that everyone likes.

You can’t do that. Not everybody likes the same things. What if God didn’t make broccoli because he only wanted to make food that everyone likes.  What if God didn’t make peas because your son doesn’t like to eat peas. You love peas. And what if God didn’t make sardines? You love sardines. 

Not everyone likes to eat sardines and not everyone will like what you create. tweet tweet

Good Point conscience in my brain. It doesn’t matter if everyone likes what I create because not everyone likes sardines.

That’s right Hodges. Go and eat your peas and sardines for breakfast and then go and finish your paintings. Have fun, be yourself, and create.

What about you? Do you think everyone has to like what you create?

Listen to my brain.

Don’t care what people think. Finish. Risk failure. tweet tweet

Do you every worry about what people think? Do you hesitate to finish a project.  Please tell me what you think in the comments. I really want to know. And I will always like you even if you don’t like sardines.

Painting in my basement, risking failure

Painting in my basement, risking failure

About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

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Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

  • Valorie MacDonald

    –Write the story you want to say. Paint the painting you want to see. Sing the song you want to hear. Create you, even if someone says, “That’s stupid. You are not very good. I don’t like it.”
    Pamela, I read these weighty words upon further exploration of your site just after leaving the comment below. I didn’t even realize I was reading something from 8 months ago; I’ll bet when you wrote it 8 months ago you didn’t imagine a girl/wife/mom/friend stuck in a sort of personal crisis, the abyss, if you will, between dreams and day.to.day reality. In process of learning to dream while still very much stuck…stuck in a life of my own choosing; a life, even, that I love. But that suddenly, and surprisingly, feels a size or two small. I never thought that was me. Other people go back.packing in Europe or to the faraway mountaintop to “find themselves” Not me. I keep my feet on the ground… Nose to the grindstone… Head ALLLL.THE.WAY.DOWN.AND.OUT.OF.THE.CLOUDS…
    It’s what I know. What I was taught. The definition of being a decent and responsible citizen. Dreamers are impractical, selfish wasters of the precious time God has given.
    Except now that I figured out maybe that’s not true, I can’t seem to stop dreaming.
    Anyway, I just wanted to say that your words have breathed new life into my soul. Gonna get that dragon up and off’o me yet!) Toss him out the window, or something! Orrrr maybe I’ll end up harnassing his fire.breathing talents to fan the flame of my passion…I could buy him a nice sparkly red collar..or maybe purple;]

    • Valorie,
      You can dream. If people didn’t dream and imagine something we couldn’t see, we wouldn’t have lightbulbs or wheels or red paint to paint the sky. We wouldn’t have pastel sticks or paint brushes, or paper to write on. Or dish soap or books to read.
      Have you ever read “The War of Art”? It talks about the Dragon. Go look in the mirror. You might see your best friend. Believe in her.

      • Valorie MacDonald

        I did it, Pamela…(Learning to be my own best friend; there’s a concept!) and I remembered what you had said some months back, so I drew a circle on the mirror with a lipstick…after digging into the depths to find one! Lol;)) Hubby’s out of town til tomorrow, so I’ll leave it there overnight as a reminder…might be kindof wierd to explain why I have a lipstick circle on our bathroom mirror… Ha

  • Valorie MacDonald

    Great reminder; the only way i know how to write is an “I gotta be me!” approach, however sometimes it sounds one way; sometimes another. YET, THEYYYY seem to say we have develop our voice. I understand, but if one day I want to share a worship song I’ve just discovered and a story/memory of when God used a song as a lifeline to my very soul…then the next I’m sort of just rambling about whatever… and another day it’s coming out in sort of fragments, etc…I end up with this tension of how whether I’ll ever be able to gather a tribe, etc…IS IT OKAY TO JUST BE ME!?!?
    p.s. I’d love to know your favorite sardines! I used to eat them in Mexico, but i just haven’t been able to get back into them…and I’m on a super tight budget… maybe I need someone else’s input:)

    • Yes Valorie, it is OKAY to be you. God made you special and He loves you very much.
      My favorite sardines are “Season Brand Sardines,” from Costco. They don’t taste really sardiney, if that makes sense. And I also like King Oscar Tiny Tots. I have been eating sardines and peas for breakfast for months now.
      Just keep being you Valorie, that is a great place to start. Write what you know.

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  • La McCoy

    I love peas

  • Pamela,

    You are right. And some people will like some of what you create and other things, not so much. The issue is not who likes what. Liked your post. Have to share it.

    • Hello Anne,
      Oh good point. A liker might not be an everything liker. And I am so glad we have a choice about what we like.
      Thank you for sharing Anne.

  • Stacey

    Love, love, your paintings in the basement!!

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  • Pamela Black

    I’ve never tried sardines. But I love peas. My father eats canned sardines and they smell funny. But i still love my father when he eats sardines and I still love him when he writes poetry I don’t agree with. His (i think seventh) book of poetry is going to print soon and I am just proud he still writes. He has won multiple awards, and is multi-published, but he wasn’t accepted into the doctorate program he wanted so he decided he didn’t want to get one. I was disappointed for him because I know he would be great. I’m sure his ego was hit. I’m glad he still creates with words. It encourages me to do the same, even when I am not accepted by those I wish would accept me.

    • Pamela,
      There are some sardines in this world that taste really “fishy.” I did a taste test once with 5 different kinds, and there were some I couldn’t eat.
      I think there will always be someone who doesn’t “get” us. God made you special and He loves you very much Pamela. Keep creating. Someone needs to hear what you have to say.

  • This is a great reminder, Pamela. Not everyone loves coffee. (Or, so I hear.) I’m so glad that God created coffee. Somewhere out there someone is going to be glad that I created something that I was almost too afraid to share. Thanks for the push.

    • Stephanie,
      I love coffee too. My husband hates coffee. So happy God still made it. You have a story in you that only you can write. Someone needs to read it. Be brave Stephanie.

  • raayres

    Beautiful. It reminds me of the reason I started writing in the first place — to make sense of the world. I keep writing because I remind myself it’s not for them. I’m glad you are painting and writing and creating. Don’t stop.

    • Thank you Ruth,
      You were one of the first women to encourage my writing almost two years ago. I won’t stop. Thank you for encouraging me.